Batwoman #32 “Deadly Is the Night”
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Jeremy Haun
I just want to get this out of the way, and say that I’m pretty excited about this arc. I feel like Nocturna is the perfect rogue for Batwoman, and I’m hoping that Andreyko and Haun can make this everything I want it to be, and more. I honestly can’t even tell you much about Nocturna (Brandon, feel free to step in at any point), but she and Batwoman just seem like they’re made to be mortal enemies. Right? The last few issues already started setting up this arc by introducing us to Nocturna, by having her acquitted for murder. This was a brilliant move by Andreyko, because it made the transition into this new arc incredibly seamless.
We pick up with Kate and Bette at a charity festival. Kate definitely has some distractions at the moment – Wolf Spider is still at large and in hiding, Kate isn’t confident in her future with Maggie due to her lifestyle as Batwoman, and Maggie is in a difficult custody battle that Kate feels responsible for – so she definitely doesn’t find any clarity when she runs into Sophie, her ex-girlfriend from when she was in the military. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I think this could go two ways: it could be a great character moment and allow more insight into Kate, the relationship they had, and how they moved on… or this could become another melodramatic hurdle for Kate and Maggie to deal with. My first thought was that the writing team was going to try and create some drama by reigniting a flame between these two while Maggie is away. I seriously hope that Andreyko proves me wrong with this.
Kate manages to flee the situation pretty quickly, so nothing happens with Sophie, but it does drive her to her therapist. If you remember, I’m not too keen on this whole therapist plot at the moment, but only because I don’t think it’s done well. I feel like Andreyko is using it as a vice to spoon feed readers insight into Kate’s feelings and thoughts, rather than showcase them through Kate’s actions. You may not agree with me, but it kind of feels like a cop-out, and makes me like Kate a little less because it’s as if she can’t cope or deal with her problems.
On the Nocturna front, we’re introduced into some other supporting characters that are tied to her. Natalie (Nocturna) is at the festival as well, and catching the favor of many men (seriously, vampires and seduction… they have it easy). Alex also happens to be there as well. Who is Alex? Her father is Nocturna’s former husband, the man she was accused of killing and was acquitted for. She definitely has a chip on her shoulder – which she potentially has every right to – and is looking for revenge.
We also get to meet Anton, Nocturna’s associate, “son,” companion… the relationship is creepy and very Anne Rice, so of course I like it. Anton is annoyed with Nocturna’s antics with other men, and when she decides that she wants to hit the city and have fun, he doesn’t join her. When Batwoman stumbles across Nocturna, she’s in for more than she bargains for, especially when she discovers that Nocturna isn’t alone.
- You’re a fan of vampires.
- Nocturna is a villain you’ve been waiting to see in the New 52.
- You’ve missed the fantasy aspect of Batwoman.
For more details, opinions, and spoilers, see below!
The Art: Haun’s art is pretty good. I wouldn’t say it’s anything to get overly excited about, but its nothing to complain about either. After some of the art I’ve seen recently, I’m just glad he’s consistent. I can’t recall ever seeing any of his art that was bad. I was unsure of the whole psychedelic aspect of Nocturna when Batwoman shined a light on her. I’m not going to lie, it reminded me of Twilight, and sparkling vampires are never a good thing. Thankfully, Nocturna in her vampire state is freaky, so that made up for it a little.
The Good: This story continues to move right along. Andreyko balances the two worlds of Kate pretty well. It’s clear that this lifestyle is starting to take a toll on her, and readers can connect with that. The custody case is also something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of, but only if they delve into and we can see Maggie’s struggle with the situation as she fights for her daughter.
Noturna is definitely a win for this issue. I know this is the first issue of her arc, but since she was introduced and set-up prior to this, it really gives her character a lot of momentum. It doesn’t hurt that she’s incredibly dangerous and commands attention either. Nocturna and Anton both have quite a few subtleties that define them, making them interesting in their own right. Speaking of Anton , he seems like quite the powerhouse as well considering the cross he gave Batwoman. It isn’t confirmed that he’s the masked man assisting Nocturna, but I think it’s pretty clear that it is him. And if its not, then surprise!
The Bad: I’m concerned about Sophie showing up. I’ve found that I get really anxious whenever emotions or a relationship becomes a focus for a DC title. They tend to be done poorly, and contain little to no depth depending on the title. I’m going to stay open, but it does concern me a little. Also, I’m over the therapist. I hope they make Kate’s sessions relevant so she doesn’t come across as petty or shallow
I’m still having issues with some of the dialogue from time to time. It’s not terrible, and definitely better than some of the other books that are out there, but I do question the characters saying these things from time to time.
Oh, and Killshot… what a joke. I can’t take him seriously. Hopefully Nocturna kills him in the next issue.
Overall: I enjoyed this issue quite a bit! I know the tone of the review may not come across as me being overly enthusiastic, but I promise you, I enjoyed this issue. As I stated previously, I feel that Nocturna is the perfect rogue for Batwoman, and this issue really kicks off the new arc with clarity, action, and a strong pace. It’s a great foundation for Andreyko to build upon, and I’m crossing my fingers that he slowly layers in subplots and twists each issue, as he did with the previous arc. So if you’re out buying comics, pick this one up while you’re at it!